Smith sets Cantwell a challenge

Todd Cantwell was substituted at half time in Norwich City's 2-1 Premier League win over Southampton

Todd Cantwell was substituted at half time in Norwich City's 2-1 Premier League win over Southampton - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Limited

Norwich City head coach Dean Smith has told Todd Cantwell what he needs to do to be a ‘top Premier League player’. 

Cantwell was replaced at the interval during last week’s 2-1 league win over Southampton on his first senior appearance since September 18

Smith admitted the midfielder’s lack of sharpness left him off the pace, but the new City chief revealed the duo are on the same page after a chat this week. 

“He certainly wasn’t the fall guy to me or the coaching staff or the players. I believed the risk was worth it. I know the type of player Todd is and can be. I just felt he was a little bit off it,” said Smith, speaking on Friday ahead of Wolves’ visit to Carrow Road this weekend.

“That coincided with his lack of training minutes. But he has a full week this week and he is getting back to those levels we all know he can. There is a talented footballer there. As coaches we want to work with him and will continue to work with.  

“We had a chat about last week and I pointed out where I felt he fell a little bit short and the reasons why he came off. Sometimes you don’t need to speak to them. Todd understands. He is a clever lad.

"He knows the game and he knew he was a little bit off it last week, but it won’t take a lot to get him back on it and back close to the levels that we need in the Premier League. 

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“I don’t need to tell Norwich fans what Todd Cantwell can do. They have all seen it over the last two or three years. He is a little bit short of that at the moment so our job is to work with him on a daily basis.

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"He was disappointed but he was in the dressing room afterwards congratulating everyone on the win and he was also someone who played a part in that. 

“He can be a really good player. He can cause problems, he can create chances, he can score goals, he is a hard worker. He covers the ground really quickly. He has all the attributes to be a top Premier League player.”